Ericsson fourth-quarter operating profit beats forecasts
Swedish mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson said sales in China recovered while business in North America remained stable as it posted fourth-quarter operating profit above market expectations boosted by patent fees on Wednesday.
The fourth quarter caps a second year of falling like-for-like sales at Ericsson. In 2015, group sales dropped 5 percent on a comparable basis after declining 2 percent in 2014.
"In North America, the mobile broadband investments remained stable, with additional hardware sales in the quarter. 4G deployments in Mainland China recovered after a weak third quarter," Ericsson said in a statement.
Operating profit was 11bn Swedish crowns (€1bn) compared to 6.3 billion in the year-ago quarter and above a mean forecast of 10.6 billion crowns in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales at Ericsson, the world number one mobile network equipment maker, were 73.6 billion crowns, below a forecast of 74.1 billion. The gross margin was 36.3 percent against a mean forecast of 37.3 percent.
Sales and profits were lifted by a one-off payment from Apple Inc after the firms settled litigation last month and signed a patent license agreement.
No financial details were disclosed. For the full year, Ericsson had revenues from intellectual property rights of 14.4 billion versus a forecast from the firm of 13-14 billion last month.
Ericsson proposed a dividend of 3.70 crowns per share, slightly above expectations of 3.60 crowns per share and said it was on track to reach its target of 9 billion crowns in annual savings by 2017.